Attorney General’s office files briefs in 2022 House race case

The final round of briefs in a federal case to force a House of Delegates race this November may have been filed this week. Richmond Attorney Paul Goldman filed suit against the Board of Elections last year claiming the certification of winning candidates in the 2021 race was not valid because the districts are outdated because they are based on the 2010 Census.

In March. the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Eastern District of Virginia to answer the question of whether Goldman has the right to have filed the suit. In a new brief filed on Monday, Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson argues Goldman does not have standing. 

“Goldman’s brief is long on rhetoric but falls short on standing—the only question the Fourth Circuit authorized this Court to answer,” reads the motion. “He offers no explanation of how he has suffered the sort of particularized injury-in-fact that Article III requires for any plaintiff who wants to invoke federal jurisdiction.”

The brief goes on to argue that the action by the Virginia Supreme Court to adopt new legislative boundaries in late December did nothing to invalidate the elections of 2021. 

“The Supreme Court merely drew the maps for the next election,” the motion continues. “The Commonwealth of Virginia’s conduct of the 2021 election did not violate the United States Constitution.”

The brief also argues that a federal judicial order to hold a state election this year would be intrusive and would lead to “judicially created confusion.”  The state also argues that oral argument on this question is not necessary.

In response, Goldman filed a surrebuttal arguing that the state’s latest motion introduced new matters that he deserves to have the right to respond to. On Tuesday, Judge David Novak issued an order supporting Goldman’s request to consider a case called Avery v. Midland County as he reviews how to proceed with the case. 

Read the latest briefing from Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson here

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 28, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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